Clinton, Trump Supporters in N.H. Energized During First Presidential Debate

Sep 27, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump squared off for their first presidential debate Monday night at Hofstra University in New York. Here in NH, the debate attracted crowds for watch parties for each candidate.

NHPR’s reporter Paige Sutherland stopped by a couple of them.

At The Strange Brew pub in Manchester Hillary Clinton supporters gathered to watch the 1st debate of the general election – most sporting bright blue Hillary T-shirts, stickers and hats.

The crowd was let’s say – pretty jazzed about one candidate – the other not so much.

“Are we going to see the next president of the United States taking on the biggest clown in American tonight," said Democratic State Party Chair Ray Buckley, followed by loud cheers and clapping.

Democratic State Party Chair Ray Buckley kicked off the Clinton watch party in Manchester.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

But he wasn’t the only one eager to see Clinton take the stage Monday night. Seventy-six-year-old Jean Claude Prevot of Manchester told me he was excited for multiple reasons.

“This will be the first time that a woman takes the presidential debate stage,” I said to him. “It’s about time,” Prevot responded.

So far Prevot has knocked on 7,000 doors in Manchester, urging people to vote for Clinton, and plans to hit 10,000 by November.

Meanwhile Donald Trump supporters gathered 10 miles down the road at the Mexican restaurant La Carreta in Londonderry.

The people packed in the room had no problem expressing their feelings for Clinton.

"I just left Philadelphia, and you know you've seen me, I've been all over the place, and you decided to stay home and that's ok," said Trump during the debate followed by robust laughter from the room.

Dozens of Trump supporters gathered at the Mexican restaurant La Carreta in Londonderry to watch Monday's debate.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

These voters also shared a similar excitement for their chosen candidate. Like 71-year-old Paula DiPerri of Londonderry who says her support runs in the family.

“The 20-year-old voting for Trump, the 45-year-old voting for Trump, the baby is 18-months he is not voting, the 71-year-old voting for Trump, the 95-year-old voting for Trump. Every generation – there is 4 generations there, every generation saw something in this man that can change this country back to what it was,” DiPerri said.

The two candidates will face off again on October 9th in St. Louis.